A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:21 am

Hello everybody,
Byron Angel wrote: "...how is it possible to draw any firm conclusions about Prinze Eugen's heading and position relative to Bismarck? The only legitimate information that might be derived from the photo image is a crude estimate of the heading of Bismarck relative to the photographer's line of sight."
Correct, and Mr.Wadinga theory that the photo was showing a 90° angle between PG and BS courses is unsupported.
However, here we can also see that:

1) the photo has been taken after PG passed for the very first time to the starboard side of BS (that, combined to what we see in all the other photos, in the film (timed 06:04 - 06:06, approximately viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526&start=45#p84777, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8526&start=45#p82888) and in the PG battlemap, tells us that the photo has been taken after the second turn to starboard of the cruiser), thus at the very end of the battle.
2) the Bismarck is firing with the turrets almost trained to her beam (I estimate 0° to 3° fore, Herr Nilsson estimates -11° aft), that means her turn to starboard + the PoW disengagement maneuvers have caused the bearing to drop from 20° fore of the beam to around the beam.
3) this photo, together with all the others, prove that BS fire was both continued during the turns (at the end of the PG film) and during the last phase of the battle (here + at least 4 other main armament salvos in other photos), without any appreciable pause (probably both for the main and the secondary armament), thus that her fire was not very far from being a "metronomic" firing, as logical...


All these informations have been analysed and perfectly match Antonio's original reconstruction, accepted and published by everybody (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... trait2.htm, download/file.php?id=3193, download/file.php?id=3593) after 2005, albeit more or less knowingly...(viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8725&start=30#p84873).





Wadinga wrote: "aaaarrrggghhh kersplash! "
ignoring his nonsensical rattle (a "problem" for the "moderator"), it's clear Mr.Wadinga has realized that my simple explanation to him is true, and he has no way to counter it:
I repeat: "it is enough to change very slightly the training of the mount (clockwise) and to move the photographer slightly to the left.... "
as shown here below (just sorry my drawing skills are very limited. Thanks to Herr Nilsson for his much better drawing I have used)

NH69730_Herr Nilsson_Trained+BS adjusted_Alberto.jpg
NH69730_Herr Nilsson_Trained+BS adjusted_Alberto.jpg (31.61 KiB) Viewed 465 times

and Mr.Wadinga is kindly requested to explain why (in his opinion, using human words and not noises, if possible...) this simple action should not bring the muzzle plan perfectly in line with Bismarck (albeit they are only approximately aligned and no action is needed to validate Herr Hilsson drawing anyway).

He will now tell us that Bismarck is not at the right distance, etc.etc.: he is welcome to present a better drawing with perfectly correct distances..... we anxiously wait for a constructive input, instead of sterile criticism.



Bye, Alberto
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:44 pm

One problem of course is that in reality we have no real idea of how much the photograph has been cropped or enlarged, etc., which renders scaling issues problematical. It's possible from perspective to obtain some idea, but only an approximate idea, of how far the camera was from the gun mounting. This distance could vary quite dramatically depending upon the type of camera used insofar as if the camera were a smaller one, such as a 35mm, it is typically held at eye level, i.e. about 1.5 meters above the deck whereas a twin-lens reflex is typically held at somewhat above the navel, , i.e. about a meter above the deck. That changes the derived distance from the photographer to the mount. Another problem, equally or more important, is that everything in the photos is, in effect, moving. The photographer's position is uncertain, Prinz Eugen is moving, Bismarck is moving, and the barrels of the guns are mounted on a moving gun mount. For all anyone knows, the mount in the photo could have been training while the photo was being taken.

Making more sense of this probably requires more information, such as the type of camera used, some details about work done in the darkroom, and some idea how the photo in question might fit into a larger sequence, which would help to establish timing. Usually the negatives do that; 35 mm and 120 film negatives are usually numbered, and photographers developed certain tricks to keep track of the sequence of even 4x5 'press camera' negatives as well. But that sort of information usually requires access to the negatives.

I think it is very easy to overthink the images and use them to create a variety of highly imaginative narratives. The question at heart, though, is does any of this cast any useful light on the action itself, historically? Would establishing the precise positions of all ships in the action on a second-by-second basis make any real difference?

Mssrs Wadinga and Bonomi are both cautioned again. Please stop 'sniping' at one another. You are not accomplishing anything useful by doing so. Other correspondents, e.g. Mr. Angel and Herr Nilsson, seem to be able to post at length without making snide remarks about other's postings, and I would hope that you two could as well. Before you write, ask yourself "is this particular comment really NECESSARY", or am I just inserting it to poke a fellow correspondent in the eye?

Bill Jurens

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:06 pm

Mr Moderator

I'm afraid I must complain about the suggestion I was "sniping", I particularly avoided anything even the most sensitive soul could take exception to. Please send me a PM if you will be so good, to explain where this happened. There is nothing "snide" in observing that drawings posted do not reflect what we have already agreed.

The latest drawing no longer maintains the accepted 30 degrees ahead of the muzzle plane, thus 120 degrees between barrel and photographer. The point of the sound effect was to illustrate exactly the problem humorously. If the turret is rotated further clockwise, at all, the photographer can simply no longer be on the deck. He falls in the sea.



This question:
The question at heart, though, is does any of this cast any useful light on the action itself, historically? Would establishing the precise positions of all ships in the action on a second-by-second basis make any real difference?
really questions the whole point of this website, which is surely to study historical events related to naval warfare, in the greatest possible detail, and disseminate that information to those who are interested. So the answer is emphatically Yes it would!

There are plenty of threads for those who want to speculate about how many HMS Dreadnoughts it would take to overwhelm a Yamato, or the precise angle at which an incoming shell is decapped by non homogenous armour, based on a lot of theoretical equations. Here, in view of the fact that so many contradictory plans of the Denmark Strait action have been published, we are attempting to find the reality.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:25 pm

To Wadinga.

One shouldn't offend in public and apologize in private. You are correct; reading your comments carefully, I do find it difficult to take serious offense -or perhaps any offense at all -- regarding the content.

I made a mistake in censuring you.

Bill Jurens.

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:41 pm

Hello everybody,

as Mr.Wadinga is even unable to respect the simple (wrong) rule of his "moderator" to post once per day, and the "moderator" does nothing (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8756&p=85376#p85375) to stop his violations, I can surely do the same... :wink:

Wadinga wrote: "the accepted 30 degrees ahead of the muzzle plane, thus 120 degrees between barrel and photographer."
Accepted by whom ?
Are you able to analyse the image and to state that it's 30° and not 20° or 40°in this image ? Please prove it.
The presented one is only ONE of the possible solutions, there are several, just turning the mount and moving the photographer accordingly: IMO the right one has not yet been presented here.
As a matter of facts, the 90° between the courses of BS and PG cannot be proven by the photo, as well as the 270°(PG) and 220°(BS) courses.

&. "The point of the sound effect was..."
...very clear to everybody. Don't invent excuses and assume full responibility for your..."words", please.

&: "...He falls in the sea."
Wrong. To have the photographer falling in the sea, the mount has to be turned almost 90° from the bow. "My" photographer is NOT in the sea, as everybody can check (download/file.php?id=3630). Your rattle was just a free provocation.



Where is YOUR proposed drawing and YOUR proposed solution ? I'm still waiting for something constructive.





Bill Jurens wrote: "You are correct; reading your comments carefully, I do find it difficult to take serious offense -or perhaps any offense at all -- regarding the content.I made a mistake in censuring you."
Therefore, next time you "establish" your own "rules" for the forum, I will answer to your "recommendations" with a very polite and "humorous" (sic), Wadinga's style "aaaarrrggghhh kerwrong! ", instead of politely trying to explain why you are wrong (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8756&start=150#p85361), and you should be happy....


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by northcape » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:45 am

Bill Jurens wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:44 pm

I think it is very easy to overthink the images and use them to create a variety of highly imaginative narratives. The question at heart, though, is does any of this cast any useful light on the action itself, historically? Would establishing the precise positions of all ships in the action on a second-by-second basis make any real difference?
The clear answer is "NO", assuming that one of the following is meant by historical significance or real difference: (1) more than 50 people worldwide are interested in discussing this topic (=detailed course reconstruction); (2) the results of such a discussion would bear any implications beyond the topic itself. E.g. even if one would be able to position the ships with the proposed accuracy and level of detail (which I consider to be impossible), what would change in the view on other aspects of the Bismarck saga or on the war (besides the proposed cover-up theory)?

It is just a passion/obsession of a limited number of persons (which of course is fine), but it should not be mixed up with historical research. In my view, statements like "we are looking for the reality" are also pointless in that regard, as any historian will of course tell you that at best you can document certain events. And further, taking the ambiguities and limited resolution of the documents into account, shoot for an interpretation.
, e.g. an attempt to reconstruct what might could have happened. You can postulate an interpretation which does not contradict the limited number of documents. The more limited your data basis is, the easier it is to find an interpretation (or actually many interpretations).
Any serious scientist will invoke Occam's razor at this stage, e.g. to take the most simple model which does not contradict the observed data. E.g. in this case: "PE and BS fought a battle in the DS with H and PoW, which lasted less than 20 minutes. H got sunk after being hit by Bismarck. After that, PoW broke off the battle after being damged. PE was not damaged. BS got damaged too and based on analysis of the daamge, the german admiral decided to return to the coast. The battle was fought on a generally SW to S trending course." You can add some more details, but one gets the idea. This also closes the circle to the initial question above - e.g. what more information is needed to reveal more about other aspects of the Bismarck saga?

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:34 am

My thanks to Northcape for what I consider an excellent response to my question. As they sometimes say 'I couldn't have said it better', but in this case, I'd have to admit that I probably couldn't have said it half as well.

I think that even though the outcomes might be trivial in the overall context of the Bismarck operation, and are certainly trivial so far as overall naval history is concerned, some advantage remains in undertaking, as it were, the PROCESS of historical analysis, i.e. studying how history is actually done.
I'm very fortunate to have taken some excellent courses in historiography in university, and to have two history professors (one emeritus) as personal friends, so their classroom presentations have been pleasantly augmented over the past ten years or so by informal and often rather lengthy dinner-table discussions. Although I consider myself at least reasonably competent in historical technique, either of these guys are twice as good after a half-bottle of scotch as I am sober. And, of course, I've been blessed with dealing with a wide variety of naval historians, both formally certified and otherwise, during my duties as an editor. "Monkey see, monkey do...".

So what I see us studying here regarding Denmark Strait is not so much an endeavor to recover the 'truth' about the action -- if indeed such a thing exists in the first place -- but to exercise and explore the various facets of historical TECHNIQUE. Such an enterprise might not -- and quite possibly can not -- shed much additional light on the precise activities that took place that morning, but it can shed light on how history can and should be done in general. And that may bear fruit elsewhere.

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:46 pm

My own calculations and analysis, done via a method essentially identical to that used by Herr Nilsson, and using identical source material, would suggest that the photographer would be at or near the rail with the mount trained at only about 35 degrees off the centerline.

I feel it unlikely that the photograph in question was exposed with the mount in anything other than the fore-and-aft position. The photographer is too close to the muzzles to make it safe to be around a training and operating mount which could, presumably, fire at any time. That is one reason why I feel the photo was likely taken through the airport in the galley, or perhaps through the open galley door. It would, I think, be unusual and unwise to have a photographer -- essentially a 'looky-look' -- wandering about the decks while the ship was in combat, potentially blocking lines of fire, tripping over rolling shell casings, distracting crew members who had real work to do, and essentially acting as a 'wild card' regarding tactical employment of the armament, etc. If that mount were trained significantly, the photographer is likely within fairly lethal range of the muzzle blast.

Bill Jurens (as 'just a guy')

Mr. Virtuani must realize that part of my job, whether he likes it or not, actually IS to make up and enforce the rules for the forum. Others seem to be more or less fine with this. This forum is, in my opinion (and most others seem to agree) essentially intended to act as a technical forum, not a personal one, where personal interchanges are, at least for the most part, collegial and constructive, with disagreements resolved, if possible, in respectful tones. In this environment, attitudes which seem to take offense at everything and direct offense at everybody are not really productive. This includes repetitive personal attacks on the moderator, both as moderator, and as a regular participant in discussions.

I really don't want to ban you again, but I will should your argumentative postings continue.

Bill Jurens (as moderator)

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:22 pm

Hello everybody,
Northcape wrote (my underlined): "...taking the ambiguities and limited resolution of the documents into account, shoot for an interpretation....in this case: "PE and BS fought a battle in the DS with H and PoW, which lasted less than 20 minutes. H got sunk after being hit by Bismarck. After that, PoW broke off the battle after being damged. PE was not damaged. BS got damaged too and based on analysis of the daamge, the german admiral decided to return to the coast. The battle was fought on a generally SW to S trending course.""
Bill Jurens answered: " ...I'd have to admit that I probably couldn't have said it half as well....Such an enterprise might not -- and quite possibly can not -- shed much additional light on the precise activities that took place that morning..."

Is History just an "interpretation" ?

Possibly, however history is collecting available data, validating them, reconstructing what happened and finally giving an interpretation to crude facts (that, actually, happened in a fully determined way, without any "ambiguity" for a very precise purpose). Roman history is based on very generic accounts; however we understand easily the reasons that took Rome to oppose Carthage (the domination over the Med, not the Dido revenge over Aeneas as per a "fairy-tale"....).
Here, for the DS battle, we are so lucky to have plenty of official documents/messages/accounts that make a good reconstruction/interpretation well possible.


Whoever is unable/unwilling (for any legitimate reason) to reconstruct an historical event like the DS battle may be logically happy with the "short summary" posted above.

A bit more difficult is to understand that someone who just published a 600 pages book on the Operational History of Bismarck, calculating distances, courses, maneuvers, interpreting orders, "drawing" battlemaps and even numbering and timing the salvos fired by Bismarck during the engagement is now applauding the "indeterminateness" proposal above....
Why to write a book if such a short sentence is enough ? Is the book a fantasy account, just a novel ?


I still feel this "indeterminateness" claim just hides the "urgency" to deny:
1) what cannot be denied anymore, regarding the correct Antonio's 2005 reconstruction of the battle, accepted by everybody and widely published... (http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... trait2.htm, download/file.php?id=3193, download/file.php?id=3593) and
2) the "regrettable aftermath" of the Operation, an historical fact, accounted by a professional historian (S.Roskill) and demonstrated by archived documents (see thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6728&start=2250#p84821).


The major problem for someone here is that the "accepted reconstruction" (e.g. the turn away of PoW at 6:01:30, after 1 minute under BS fire and immediately after the first shell received onboard) shows clearly that the regrettable aftermath (request for an "investigation"/BofI/Court Martial) was fully justified (before Bismarck final sinking) and that this "aftermath" logically explains why official reports were subsequently sugar-coated (e.g. point 19 in Tovey's despatches) to build a better "story", that could be approved by the military/political leaders.

Surprising is that, after almost 80 years, there is an attempt to prevent the "truth" (just the logical "interpretation" of facts) from being told to the world...

Unfortunately, history is written by the winners: it takes much time to eventually "review" it. However this due "revision" will be done soon or later:
Giampaolo Pansa,a great Italian journalist (left wing, dead few days ago) declared in a recent interview: "I'm proud to be called a "revisionist" in this sense"
after many had criticised him for having dared to shed a new, more balanced, light over the unavoidable crimes committed by Italian Partisans (a most "sacred cow" in Italy) against Fascists at the end of WWII. See his most famous book: "Il sangue dei vinti" ("the blood of the defeated" https://www.sperling.it/libri/il-sangue ... aolo-pansa).


Bye, Alberto
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"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:52 pm

Hello everybody,

as I see that someone still posts twice per day to express his view in the discussion, I will do the same.

Bill Jurens (as guy) wrote: "My own calculations and analysis...would suggest that the photographer would be at or near the rail with the mount trained at only about 35 degrees off the centerline."
I think Mr.Jurens calculations and Mr.Nilsson possible solution may be the both right under some aspects:

the main problem in both calculations is that PG was not on a 270° course at that time (just after 06:08) but on a 280° (or even more, as per her own battlemap http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... tlemap.gif), thus a 35° from a 280° course is equivalent (from a relative inclination to Bismarck) to a 45° (almost 50°) with PG on 270° course.

Here a "gift" from someone who is always a reference in this kind of discussions, from his own facebook page dedicated to the DS battle, where he had recently analysed the NH69730 photo (please don't consider both the exact position of the photographer, the training of the BS drawn turrets (the correct training is the one marked in green) and the distance of Bismarck (that is possibly a bit short, but NOT too much, IMO...).
He was not concentrating, at the time, on these aspects but just to the correct positioning of the photo itself in relation the his battlemap.

NH69730_Antonio Bonomi.jpg
NH69730_Antonio Bonomi.jpg (51.65 KiB) Viewed 353 times

Possibly, it's not yet the definitive solution, but it should show how the same image can be taken from different positions and with different mount training angles.



& (as guy): "I feel it unlikely that the photograph in question was exposed with the mount in anything other than the fore-and-aft position. The photographer is too close to the muzzles to make it safe to be around a training and operating mount which could, presumably, fire at any time."
I agree, IF the mount was operating... however, the mount may have been in 50° or 35° training (at any elevation) without being necessarily operating, as visible in other images of PG.


[I have deleted a paragraph here which consisted essentially of direct personal attacks on the moderator. The prior portion of the comment, as it primarily contains technical material, has been let stand. W. Jurens, moderator.]


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:56 pm

Gentlemen,
Alberto wrote:
he major problem for someone here is that the "accepted reconstruction" (e.g. the turn away of PoW at 6:01:30, after 1 minute under BS fire and immediately after the first shell received onboard) shows clearly that the regrettable aftermath (request for an "investigation"/BofI/Court Martial) was fully justified (before Bismarck final sinking) and that this "aftermath" logically explains why official reports were subsequently sugar-coated (e.g. point 19 in Tovey's despatches) to build a better "story", that could be approved by the military/political leaders.

Surprising is that, after almost 80 years, there is an attempt to prevent the "truth" (just the logical "interpretation" of facts) from being told to the world...
Unfortunately, history is written by the winners: it takes much time to eventually "review" it. However this due "revision" will be done soon or later:

While I agree with his last statement that 'History is written by the winners,we have spent countless hours on posts on 'Court Martial for Denmark Strait, the Turn-away by PoW, Whether there was a cover up, plus even more numerous additions to these themes, surely after 80 years any further 'truth' is unlikely to be forthcoming unless some previously unknown information is found or released by the RN or MOD.
So please, please, do not start up all these old arguments again about cowardice, cover ups, Court Martial's etc they have all been done to death.

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:38 pm

Fellow Contributors,

The Moderator posted that he had reassessed my post and that he did not consider it was intended to offend. And neither was it. I very much appreciate his posting and his heroic attempts to demonstrate impartiality in difficult circumstances, including having to exclude parts of posts consisting of direct personal attacks on himself and his administration of the site which I believe is beyond reproach.

Bill Jurens posted:
My own calculations and analysis, done via a method essentially identical to that used by Herr Nilsson, and using identical source material, would suggest that the photographer would be at or near the rail with the mount trained at only about 35 degrees off the centerline.

I feel it unlikely that the photograph in question was exposed with the mount in anything other than the fore-and-aft position.
I believe this coincides with my own opinion very closely, although we may differ on which starboard side mount may be included. This analysis by an experienced photogrammetrist is clearly based on the content of the photograph. Mr Virtuani has posted a drawing by Mr Bonomi which is in my opinion not based on this photo at all, but instead on an intuition of the vessel's course based amongst other things on the "useless and worthless" Gefechtskizze and which ignores and contradicts the information in the photo. In the photo an extended plane through the muzzles intersects the Bismarck.

I would estimate the mount would have to be rotated 50 to 60 degrees from the PG centreline for the extended plane through the muzzles to intersect Bismarck as is depicted in this drawing. As Bill's analysis concluded even in the unlikely situation that the mount were rotated as much as or more than 35 degrees, this would require the photographer's location to be outboard of the ship's rail. Which means the representation in the drawing is contradicted by the photo. Since the photo is a recorded alignment, whereas the drawing is merely an interpretation, we can safely conclude the latter is wrong.

For Paul Mercer you are quite correct, the speculative theories on British actions espoused by Mr Bonomi and promoted by Mr Virtuani surely have no place in this thread which is about photographs of German ships taken from other German ships. And since some of the eye witness accounts most often quoted on this site were written by Messrs Mullenheim-Rechberg, Schmalenbach and Busch it is an incorrect and hackneyed generalisation to say "History is written by the Winners".

All the best

wadinga
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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Bill Jurens » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:59 pm

There is an unspoken and very subtle assertion being made when it is said that 'History is written by the winners.", the implication being that the history is therefore not to be trusted or is in some way inferior to history written by the 'losers', which is often assumed -- usually well after-the-fact -- to be via its very origin somehow more reliable than 'winners' history. Much 'revisionist' claptrap stems from this sort of assumption.

History may indeed be written by the 'winners', but this fact does not in and of itself preclude the winners from writing good and accurate history.


Bill Jurens

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:36 am

Bill Jurens wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:59 pm
There is an unspoken and very subtle assertion being made when it is said that 'History is written by the winners.", the implication being that the history is therefore not to be trusted or is in some way inferior to history written by the 'losers', which is often assumed -- usually well after-the-fact -- to be via its very origin somehow more reliable than 'winners' history. Much 'revisionist' claptrap stems from this sort of assumption.

History may indeed be written by the 'winners', but this fact does not in and of itself preclude the winners from writing good and accurate history.

Bill Jurens

My experience over the years as a humble amateur historian has confirmed to my complete satisfaction that all sides - win, lose or spectator - have secrets to hide, egos to massage, jealousies to vent and ideologies to advance. Add to that the pernicious influence of propaganda, which seems to possess a half-life approaching infinity among the general public, and pursuit of "the truth" inevitably becomes both a fascinating and frustrating challenge.

Byron

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Re: A correct attribution for the "Flash Effect" photo?

Post by wadinga » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:41 am

Fellow Contributors,

I think the Moderator should review Mr Jurens' posting in case somebody self-identifies as a purveyor of "revisionist" claptrap and takes offence.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

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